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Pantha - NZ's Looptail
PaulK
post Jun 21 2005, 04:59 AM
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Here's my 1981 Pantha MX1002. At the time, anything from America was really hard (and expensive) to get, and this was NZ's effort. I remember looking at the line up of Pantha's in the local bike shop, and wanting one real bad.
I found this one abandoned under a marina, so it was in pretty bad shape, but I've managed to keep most of the original components (including the Bicycle Village padset).

(IMG:http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/caseyjoneskiwi/IMG_0842.jpg)

(IMG:http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/caseyjoneskiwi/IMG_0843.jpg)

And here's its little brother, the Pantha Cub

(IMG:http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/caseyjoneskiwi/IMG_0845.jpg)

(IMG:http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/caseyjoneskiwi/IMG_0847.jpg)
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mcam
post Jun 21 2005, 05:09 AM
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Holy cow! Paul, those bikes are a credit to you! And I had forgotten about the cub!

Man, its a long long time since I've ever seen those mags!

Well done! Sure brings back some memories.

Do you remember the guy that used to own or run Pantha? John Lithgow I think his name was.
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redlinenz
post Jun 21 2005, 05:18 AM
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Hey paul, Cool rides
Mine has blue mags and blue suginos and a crack behind the gusset on the down tube.
It also has the dropouts higher up on the loop and the fork dropouts has a teardrop in it.
What year is yours?

Do you have any repos of the frame decals?
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PaulK
post Jun 21 2005, 05:38 AM
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A lot of them cracked by the single gusset (the same problem the original HMX's had), so they went with the twin gussets on the later models. The Cub is one of the originals; when they went to the twin gussets the Cubs inheritited them too. My MX1002 is an '81, first of the complete models. The first ones were only available as a frameset, and the most identifable feature was the seatpost clamp which was simply one of their cast stem clamps (so it looked like a Cooks' Bros Clamp). You could buy the wheels seperatly - they were made by Dixon Mags in Auckland, and they came with sealed bearings, but the axle nuts were an obscure 11mm size, so if you stripped or lost them, they were almost impossible to find.

Are your mags a light baby blue colour?

I've got some repo stickers, but everythings packed away for my move to Aussie.
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supermax crmo
post Jun 21 2005, 06:14 AM
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paul those bikes look awsome hope you are bringing them over with you
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AndyDiamond
post Jun 21 2005, 04:54 PM
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Nice builds!

You probably have the only mint Panthas left in NZ.

Most of them found their way to the scrap-heap.

Check out the gnarly geometry on the MX1002 - lol.

Those forks are actually quite cool - very 'JMC'.

I remember my best mate got a Pantha when we were 9.
At that stage I was still riding my sister's old Raleigh 20 so, as you can imagine, the Pantha was super cool!
His had a black frame with the light blue mags.
I can't remember what the components were.

At the time (being very new to BMX in 1979) he said you could get a Pantha that had a red stripe on the frame and that was called a 'Redline' - lol.

Did all Pantha MX1002s have freewheel mags?

PS: The Pantha 24" that I have has the same one-piece crank with snowflake chainring on it as the Cub has.

I remember the Cub being raced in the junior classes for quite awhile.
This is when minis were very hard to get.
They handled like puss and also the fact they had coaster brakes meant the little tykes riding them would jam on the brakes while setting themseleves up for jumps and eat the dirt big time!
lol

The later Panthas were the first NZ-made chromemoly bikes.
At that point they were actually racable with decent components.
They will still Panthas though...

Either way, that's a great part of NZ BMX history you have there.
Much better than some of the rusted crap that people try to pass-off here as 'classic NZ BMXs'.
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AndyDiamond
post Jun 21 2005, 04:56 PM
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PS: where did you get the Sugino SuperMaxy cranks from?

They look NOS.
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PaulK
post Jun 21 2005, 09:10 PM
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Redlinenz - if yours has the higher dropouts, and the teardrop cutout on the forks, then it's probably 82ish. If you take a look at the Cub, it's got the teardrop fork and repositioned dropouts. This was the year they went to the "Prism" decal with the model name on it on the seat tube, but still made in the original factory in Bunnythorpe (up to a few years ago you could still drive past and make out the Factory Test Track out the front).

I found the Cranks in a shop up north, Andy. The only NOS parts in the build were the cranks, chain, brake cable and tyres. Everything else was as found, but cleaned and restored. I wish I had taken a picture of it before I started.
You could also get the MX1002 with Tuff Wheels; I don't think they made a coaster version of the mags. There was also the Stud, and the top of the line team issue Racing Stud, with all alloy parts. The 24" Assassin came later.
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AndyDiamond
post Jun 21 2005, 09:42 PM
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And the Pantha Scout.

Funny about the cranks - I pick up 6 identical NOS sets in red recently.
All 170mm with 44 T Chainrings and chrome dust caps.
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prosight
post Jun 21 2005, 10:23 PM
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(IMG:http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/prosight78/magss.jpg)
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